The best resource for great local shopping!

There is amazing stuff close by – local artisans and independently owned retailers, cool things to do and eat, and great charities to support. It’s good for the economy, the environment and the soul.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Love Local

100 mile finds is going to be participating in Love Local on June 4, 2011. Love Local is an unprecedented, one-day, outdoor retail showcase featuring fashion, beauty, art and crafts made and/or designed in Toronto. Love Local takes everything you love about the old-school craft show and transforms it into a cultural boutique event where Torontonians can shop, explore and mingle with local artisans. Check out for all the details.

100 Mile Finds will have a booth at Love Local. We'll have some monsters from Magic & Mud, a great selection of jewelery by Adornments, Rocket Jewellery, Junckshop. Books from Mindshadows and Childrens Yoga Books, bags from Saracino Designs, accessories from Tweek, T's by Coy Clothes, a Steven Crainford Print, Vintage Baby Revival Onesies, Vintage Paper Parade stationery, hats from KC Hats, and skincare by Sheebody and Fusion Soap. We'll have something for everyone in the family.

Friday, May 27, 2011


100 Mile finds welcomes DetailsByDonna! Donna creates her jewellery working with polymer clay. These pieces are bright and vivacious, and truly one of a kind as you won't find these hand crafted 'beads' anywhere else.
The featured necklace mixes Donna's polymer clay beads with a gunmetal chain. The necklace measures approx. 19 1/2" long with a gunmetal toggle clasp. The polymer clay beads and pendants are sanded, polished and double coated with varathan for a durable glossy shine.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Brocante Lux

Brocante Lux May 27, 2011

Brocante Lux is not just a craft show, really it's more of a celebration, run by Julie Prescesky and Erin Snow in St. Catharines. It's held the last Friday of every month at the Market Square at 90 King St. It's a great venue, full of light, lots of room and you feel like you are part of the hustle and bustle of downtown St. Catharines. There is a funky array of vendors, live music playing, and crafts for kids. Every month is a different theme, May is "Swing into Spring". This month Susan and I are setting up shop at the show. We will have a fabulous gift basket to raffle off to some lucky winner and we will be offering wares from a great selection of 100 mile finds vendors.

We'll have some monsters from Magic & Mud, a great selection of jewelery by Adornments, Rocket Jewellery, Junckshop. Books from Mindshadows and Childrens Yoga Books, bags from Saracino Designs, accessories from Tweek, T's by Coy Clothes, a Steven Crainford Print, Vintage Baby Revival Onesies, Vintage Paper Parade stationery, hats from KC Hats, and skincare by Sheebody and Fusion Soap. We'll have something for everyone in the family.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Urban Harvest

This planting season started off pretty wet, so we are a bit behind. If you have not finished your planting, check out Urban Harvest on 100 Mile Finds.

Urban Harvest is dedicated to providing customers with "organic seeds, seedlings and garden supplies that promote ecological diversity and preserve the health of our planet. Everything we sell is 100% certified organic. Our organic and heirloom varieties are specially chosen for their unique qualities by seasoned urban gardeners. All of our seedlings are grown in or near the Greater Toronto Area to support the economies of Toronto, Ontario and Canada".

Urban Harvest organic goods are available at the Dufferin Grove Farmers Market or the Wychwood marker. Or visit their new store at 193 Sorauren Ave.

Enjoy the bounty!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The DP Collection

100 Mile Finds welcomes The DP Collection! The DP Collection "is a result of the efforts by a mother and daughter team who had an idea and developed it into a product line. The first edition is The Diva Planner, which is a creative, carefree, inspiring way to stay organized and on target, yet still have a light hearted, fun attitude while you are accomplishing your goals".

The planner and calendar are purchased separately. Simply select the colour of the planner you desire in addition to the calendar insert from each corresponding web page. Once you placed your order, all you will need to do is purchase a new calendar each year. You have the choice to use the original purchased planner, or select another new colour. Some women choose to select two planners, one colour for their spring/summer wardrobe and one for the fall/winter. Once you place your initial order you will receive a reminder when the new yearly calendar is available.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bottle This

You know when you have something special and someone says, 'you should bottle that!'. Well, Natasa of Bottle This did.
"A love of wine, creativity, blue glass, thoughtfulness and all things shiny started this venture. It’s blossomed a little (maybe a lot) and we’ve become a brand new Toronto-based small business with heaps of ideas (and bottles) to share".
Bottle This bottles your personalized gift (or select from their assortment of ideas), creates a custom label and wraps it up for you. It's an amazing way to send a gift, or your own message in a bottle.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

A zine? A zine! - What's a zine?

In the 1930s, fans of science fiction magazines shared comments, reviews and their own amateur science fiction stories by creating “fanzines”. These hand-drafted texts (which often included artwork and illustrations) where labour intensive and self-published with limited circulation.

When the punk movement arrived in the 1970s (along with the photocopier) zine culture opened up to a broader audience and a diverse range of topics. Creating a zine was an inexpensive way of sharing ideas, opinions, poetry and artwork (and it still is!).

As internet use grew in the 1990s, many zinesters made the move from print media to online publishing via blogs and web sites etc. A quick internet search will result in a myriad of e-zines (“e” for electronic) to choose from.

If you would like to purchase a traditional zine—they too can be found online, at record stores, book stores and concerts (it is also common practice for zinesters to trade them). With topics as diverse as the people who create them, there truly is something for everyone.

Once you discover the world of self-publishing you may be inspired (as I was) to create your own zine. You can find how-to instructions online or in one of many books written on the topic.

Whether you check out some zines from your local zine library (yep! there are zine libraries!), purchase them from a local artist or create one of your own—you are sure to enjoy this creative, thought-provoking medium.

Tammy Gay is a graphic designer/illustrator by trade.
Tammy also creates new objects out of old visit her store on 100 mile finds Junckshop.
Tammy also writes a blog art with (repurpose) and she has an on-line store on Etsy.

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Sticky Business of Pricing Handmade by Mary Breen

I started offering my workshop for crafters called "The Art of Selling" last year, in large measure to address the question of appropriate pricing. There are those makers who would argue you can never charge adequately for handmade, so you might as well either give it away, or underprice. I don't agree.

Some items, such as handknit clothing, are very hard to sell for what they are worth. An adult sweater is a very time-consuming project, and the sad truth is that very few people can afford one. But children's handknits and accessories like hats and mittens are marketable, to the right people and with the right message. That message is about the quality and durability of handmade. The math stands up to inspection: a $50 hat that lasts 10 years is way better value than a $15 hat that lasts two. Handmade will never compete with Walmart, and there is no point even comparing.

I always ask artisans who are at a loss as to how to set prices to do this obvious but often overlooked exercise: decide how much you want to pay yourself per hour, count the hours, add in the materials and overhead costs (ink, paper, phone calls, internet...if you're not sure, just add 20%) and you'll arrive at what you should consider your wholesale price. Unless you are going to sell exclusively person-to-person, there will be mark-ups, whether it's the cost of a booth at a show, or the commission a retailer takes.

So, if your beautiful handmade whojeeflip takes 90 minutes to make and uses $12 in materials, you need to charge $34 to earn minimum wage. You should be paying yourself more than minimum wage, of course, but it's surprising how many people realize belatedly that they're making under $5/hour. Next, you need to consider whether this whojeeflip, gorgeous as it is, is worth roughly twice that to the consumer. If you don't think anyone will buy it for $68, then you have a few options: see if you can reduce either your time or your materials costs, consider modifying the design, or go back to the drawing board altogether. I made a charming felted reindeer ornament last year; the prototype took me 3 hours, and it was pretty clear I couldn't sell it for upwards of $75. But I kept making them, taking a few shortcuts and simply getting faster with practice, until I could make one in 15 minutes and sell it for $25.

If you underprice, you take several risks. One is that your product will be popular, and you will set yourself up to make virtually no money filling unmanageable orders. Another is that you will create a demand then piss off your customers when you have to jack your prices up. You can always mark down, but it's pretty difficult to mark up. Most importantly, when you underprice, you contribute to the undervaluing of handmade in general. It's like any labour... if somebody is willing to do a job for $10/hour, what compels an employer to pay a living wage? But if you join a union and nobody agrees to work for less than $20/hour, the work is valued at $20/hour.

I have occasionally turned down work that is too cheap. Sure, I might sell a bunch of whatever-it-is, but I'd be selling short the other artisans in the shop, and myself.

Mary Breen is the owner of Wise Daughters Craft Market in the Junction in Toronto. She also has a store on 100 mile finds. Mary also has a blog

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Michelle Prosek Glass

We have lots of jewellery and many glass designers at 100 Mile Finds, but not so many glass jewellers! Michelle Prosek Glass makes unique, colourful glass pendants and earrings as well as other beautiful glass works such as the art tiles featured.
Using a 'kiln blown glass' technique Michelle carves the cold glass and then creates unique textures working with the glass while it is in the kiln.
The earrings are from the 'OM' collection and come in a variety of colours and with matching pendant. Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Michelle!

Michelle is one of the new talented artists that has recently joined the site. Check out her unique designs - they're a little like spring!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

dinner at Statlander's farm

This past Friday night I was lucky enough to enjoy dinner at Michael Stadtlander's farm, Eigensinn. What a treat! It has been on my bucket list for years, but at over $250/person it didn't look like it was happening anytime soon.

I won't bore you with the details of how I got the chance to have dinner there, suffice it to say, the Gods were looking out for me.

Getting There!
We started our journey from Toronto at 3:30pm on Friday with the hope of arriving at the farm for 6:30pm, and sitting down to our dinner reservation for 7pm. Traffic was a nightmare! It was one of those drives where everything (while really nothing) goes wrong. It felt like every other driver was conspiring to keep us from our fabulous meal! At one point I was so nervous about Bruce's attempts to make up lost time, I broke the cardinal rule and questioned his driving skills! I asked him "What if there is a group of young children milling around on the road just over the crest of the hill?" Let me tell ya', he loves questions like that! He assured me that even if that happened with him going 80 km, it wouldn't be good for any of us! Fair enough. Floor it baby, floor it!

Just before 7pm we skidded into the parking lot at the B&B, Bruce threw our overnight bag into our room and we jumped into the shuttle with our dinner companions. Here, I have to mention that the driver of the shuttle could have been Jack Palance, remember his character in City Slickers, he was our driver, I kid you not!
So now we're all a bit more relaxed, we're on our way, we're not THAT late, I guess, unless say our driver doesn't respond to our concerns that we've passed the turn off for the farm! Or that when we arrive at the restaurant in Singhampton (that isn't even open yet) he's somehow mad at us that he's been given the wrong information and seems to be intentionally moving slowly! THEN, totally pissed he heads back to the farm. Poor Christian gets on the phone again (he's already called 30 times, okay he says 6 times, but I bet that really means 10 times) He's called once to find out the dress code, now they know we're not cool! Then he made at least 2 attempts to find out what was being served so we could pair wine, they weren't telling! and this has to be bear minimum the 3rd call apologizing about being so damn late! For God's sake, we're stalking Michael Stadtlander, how has this happened! Okay so, we're good to go now, right? No, all of the sudden Jack Palance pulls into a driveway and turns the car around, he's GOT TO GET GAS he announces! Is he kidding us! This is insane! THEN when he pulls out of the gas station, he heads away from the farm. This is when I went to my happy place, there was nowhere else to go!

Finally, really I mean, FINALLY we arrive at the Eigensinn Farm at about 7:20pm. Jack tells us to give him 20 minutes lead time for when we want him to pick us up (my plan is to walk back to the B&B) and then he tells us not to go in the door marked "entrance" but he waves to the left, and tells us to go in over there, and then, snickering, I'm sure, he drives off!

Honestly, it was like being in a cheap horror movie! We had no idea what to expect next. The grounds weren't what I expected. I'm not sure what I expected though. I think more of a Hollywood version of a farm. This was not a Hollywood version. Dilapitated is too strong a word to describe the house, barn and the grounds but "beautifully manicured property" wouldn't ring true either! It is a true, authentic working farm.
Now it's awkward because all four of us are at a lose of what we should do next. There is a door marked "entrance" but we've been told not to use it. There is a door marked "private", clearly not an option. As we are accessing our options, (honestly if the Texas Chainsaw Massacre guy had jumped out at us, not one of us would have been surprised!) Micheal Stadtlander comes flying out of the back door, and yells good naturedly at us to just go in through the kitchen! At least now I felt more like we were in a quaint English comedy rather than a heart beat away from never being seen again.

A bunch of easy going 20 somethings ushered us through the kitchen and into the dining room to meet Nobuyo, Stadlander's wife, the worlds most inviting person, and we've done it! We've finally made it there!

The Dining Room
The best word I can use to describe the dining room is "Kitchy", and I mean that as a compliment. There are an amazing array of paintings covering the walls. Stadtlander's son is a painter, he painted the picture of Michael and Nobuyo, and I'm not sure how many more. There was a wild chandelier of sorts, I say "of sorts" because it was never lit while we were there, so I'm not sure if it was a hanging piece rather than a light fixture. It looked like some kind of vine with sea shells and a plastic baby doll embellishing it. The ceiling was painted a bunch of different colors with several large gilded gold ameba like shapes all over it. The powder room's walls were covered in cement with river rocks embedded in it and a sea shell. There was a small art piece that was a fish head in a shoe! Kitchy, no other way to explain it! Oh yeah, their glass selection was never ending too! The dishes are all made in house or designed there and then made locally! It's a locavore's dream!

The room seats 12, for our evening's purposes there are 2 tables of two and 2 tables of 4 people, the other diners dinners are in full swing when we arrive. At the farm it is strictly BYOB and boy have we brought it! There is no shortage of wine at our table.

The Dinner
Nobuyo is an amazing character! We had so much fun with her and her knowledge of wines as fantastic! She is a great spirit who really enjoys what she does. It was like we were being guided through the dinner. Our first dish was a smoked ham, done on the property, on a slice of bread, baked in the kitchen, then there was a fantstically piece of fatty bacon, all done there, on another slice of bread, a baby leek in a tomato sauce with a hunk of lamb, a dumpling, a fantastic fish concoction and then an oyster. That's just the first dish!
This is a picture I found on line, different food same dish

There was a soup, there was lamb, there were chesses, it was all fantastic. Towards the middle of the meal, I had the same feeling I do at weddings, when I realize that once again I haven't left room for the seafood platter!

There were four desserts offered too! Amazing! At the end of the meal Michael, I call him Michael now, joined us for a glass of scotch and a chat. He was really generous with his time. He regaled us with stories and answered all our questions.

I found this on-line, I think it's the actual dog!

As we left through the laundry room, stepping over the dog, I must say I did have a bit of a feeling that great lengths were gone to, to show us that great lengths had not been gone to!

All I know is that I totally admire people who can totally live their dream, without compromise, while making their guests feel like they have had an evening so special & unique, that few will ever have the chance to experience. Hats off to Michael & Nobuyo Stadtlander.

Bits I have to mention but couldn't fit in!
Christian told me that when Michael Stadtlander started the farm almost 20 years ago he didn't have any money so he borrowed it all from a loan shark! I have no idea if that is true or not, I hope it is though! It so adds to the story of it all!

He has a blog. It is hilarious series of little snippets, vignettes if you will, called "Every day is Special TV"

Coming soon...
Michael Stadtlander's Pin Spiel Project - August 19-28th, 2011
$450 per person including wine and HST. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Japanses Relief Fund. Call 519-922-3128 for reservations.

Soon he is opening a restaurant in the metropolise of Singhampton, called Haisai, there is a restaurant and a bakery. Not sure exactly when...

Monday, May 9, 2011

by trish boon

Is there anyone you know who ran away to get married? Well, here's the perfect gift - the anteloper! Talented jewellery designer Trish Boon has arrived at 100 Mile Finds. We are so pleased to welcome Trish to the site.

The anteloper is solid sterling silver soldered onto a silver chain.
And if you 'canteloupe', perhaps you can get married with this amazing ring (OK, the puns will end here). But seriously, this ring is amazing. Handcrafted sterling silver ring drilled and polished so all 4 sides are different.
Welcome Trish to 100 Mile Finds.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tansy and Co.

Tansy and Co. have been in the handmade and design business for 5 years. Home decor, lighting, jewellery and art by photographer Sandy Middleton - that's one busy artist!

Check out their lamps, clocks and coaster sets (as shown). An amazing way to incorporate unique and beautiful photography into everyday items.

Welcome to 100 Mile Finds Tansy and Co.!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Craft Therapy by Melissa McColl

A couple of years ago I said good-bye to a regular pay check and damn good health benefits when I quit my day job and pursued a life of crafting. I had gone back to work after a year-long medical leave and realized that I just wanted to be home knitting.
As a little kid I loved arts and crafts. I was always collecting stuff and making collages and sculptures and generally making a mess. I had a little habit of stealing supplies from school and crafting quietly in my bedroom on the weekends.  In high school I became obsessed with cross stitch and making things out of wood. My craft career never really moved beyond a childhood past time and fell to the wayside as I struggled through my early adulthood with depression.
I had no idea that I had depression. I went on for a long time undiagnosed until I was in my 30’s. When I saw a doctor she encouraged me to do the things I enjoyed during my ordered medical leave. However, finding things “I enjoyed” was very difficult. When in the throes of depression it is almost impossible to find enjoyment in anything.
Eventually crafting became quite an obsession. I amassed mountains of yarn and avalanches of fabric, beads, and ribbon. I invested in knitting machines, a good sewing machine, and serger.  I had no idea that I was slowly building a crafting empire. I also learned a lot from books. I taught myself how to use my machines and learned new techniques in knitting, crochet, quilting and embroidery.
Crafting gave me a reason to get up every day.  My confidence in my skill and abilities went from non-existent to being ready to go out in public and join others for Stitch and Bitch groups, and then to teaching others how to knit.
Today I am growing a nice little business designing and creating knitwear for babies under the label Vintage Baby Revival. I have exhibited at the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and am hoping to be a regular exhibitor from now on.
I blog about my crafty pursuits and sometimes a little bit about depression over at Close Knit. I hope to inspire others to get their craft on whether or not they consider themselves creative-I believe anyone can do it.

Top Five Reasons Creating is Therapy
  1. Playing with colour and texture stimulates the senses and makes us feel good 
  2. A motivator to get out and socialize and relate to others by taking classes, or joining Stitch n Bitch groups
  3. Develops a sense of satisfaction, confidence and pride as new skills are acquired and projects are completed
  4. Once a skill is mastered the repetitive nature of stitching (ie knitting) can be meditative and relaxing
  5. Crafting gives us something we can share with others and makes us feel worthwhile
Melissa McColl is the brains behind Vintage Baby Revival and LadeeBee. She has a blog "Close Knit" and she has on line stores at 100 mile finds and on Etsy. Her wares can also be found at Wise Daughters Craft Market in Toronto.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Pillow Art

Art comes in many forms, and functions. Pillow Art is both. Check out these handmade gems - perfect for your girlfriend, daughter, or yourself. 'Always Kiss me Goodnight' is so sweet, and the 'Shoe Lover' is a little saucy. All of Kathie's designs are hand painted on cotton fabric and feature a tailored edge to keep it tidy looking. Pillow Art welcomes custom orders and the monogrammed pillows would make a unique wedding gift for the new couple.